ANC President Cyril Ramaphosa has warned that the governing party will force all leaders to vacate their positions if they refuse to voluntarily step aside while facing corruption charges.
Ramaphosa was on Monday evening leading the briefing of the ANC national officials on the outcomes of the party’s heated special national executive committee (NEC) which was held over the weekend.
The special sitting discussed, among other issues, on-going corruption allegations, including those linked to the looting of Covid-19 relief funds, in which ANC leaders and members were linked.
Ramaphosa said his letter on the scourge of corruption and his call for the removal of those charged for corruption, which has been publicly condemned by former president Jacob Zuma, had been endorsed by the NEC “as a clear articulation of the policies and positions of the organisation” and that its points of action had been approved.
He said the party’s top brass had resolved to “draw a line in the sand” and implement the party’s stance on corruption that all those who were criminally charged had to step aside from all their government and party position pending the finalisation of their prosecutions.
“The ANC emphasised that what seems to be a choreographed campaign against the president will not distract the movement from undertaking an intensified programme against corruption and state capture, as mandated by the 54th national conference,” Ramaphosa said.
Those who faced allegations would have to subject and explain themselves for the ANC Integrity Commission while those convicted by the courts would have to totally relinquish their posts.
According to Ramaphosa, the party will take disciplinary action against any member of the party who refused to heed the instruction to step aside.
“There are some people who have on their own volition have already decided that they are going to step aside because they have realised and have got to hear what the decision of the NEC is and we must pay tribute to those,” he said.
ANC MP and NEC member Bongani Bongo is among those who are set to step aside from all their positions as he faces corruption charges related to the alleged bribery of an evidence leader in Parliament’s enquiry into Eskom.
Eastern Cape ANC firebrand Andile Lungisa, who is appealing his two-year sentence with the Supreme Court of Appeal for assaulting a DA councillor during a council sitting in the Nelson Mandela Bay, has already been instructed to step aside as ANC councillor by the regional ANC after the NEC decision.